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Green alleyways sprouting up across Montreal boroughs

Click to play video 'Green alleyways sprouting up across Montreal boroughs' Green alleyways sprouting up across Montreal boroughs
The Green alleyway initiative has taken root in the borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie and as Brayden Jagger Haines explains the trend is sprouting up across the city.

The Green Alleyway initiative is taking root in Montreal’s Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie borough.

READ MORE: Montreal cyclist calls on city to fix potholes after traumatizing accident

More than 118 corridors have been repurposed by residents. By the end of summer, officials are hoping to bring that total to 122.

“I love my green space, I love it,” said Annik Hamel, who, along with her neighbours, transformed a nearby alley into a garden walkway with log benches.

Annik Hamel walks through her garden in Montreal.
Annik Hamel walks through her garden in Montreal. Brayden Jagger Haines

Residents say the green spaces — about 69 kilometres worth — reduce the urban heat island effect, while increasing wildlife and insects in the area.

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Hamel calls it an “oasis,” noting it gives children a safe place to play.

“It is bringing nature into the city. It’s good for the soul,” she said.

Maire-Claude Lavoie, who lives next to Hamel, says the alleyway has created a sense of community and, “by meeting all the neighbors, you feel much more secure together.”

READ MORE: ‘We’re like a big family’: How hopscotch in a Rosemont alley brought together a community

Simon Octeau, assistant director of Regroupement des éco-quartiers, works with boroughs to plan and create the alleyways.

He says though the greenery reduces the number of roads, cars will always have places to drive.

Octeau says over 400 alleys are now considered green alleyways — a total of 15 per cent in Montreal.

Click to play video 'Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie to add 10 new green alleyways' Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie to add 10 new green alleyways
Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie to add 10 new green alleyways